BT Sport launch leaves Virgin Media customers in the dark
Viewers will finally get their first glimpse of BT Sport on Thursday evening (1 August 2013) following months of buildup - but Virgin Media customers are no closer to finding out when they'll be able to access the channels, if at all.
The 'will they, won't they' saga between BT and Virgin has been dragging on for weeks - if not months - now, punctuated by periodic statements from one of the two companies that suggest some progress is being made towards finalising a carriage agreement.
But with BT Sport launching at 18:00 BST tonight, little appears to have changed. Virgin Media says it is always striving to provide customers with "the best possible value and breadth of high-quality content", and insists that discussions with BT are ongoing over "how we could make the forthcoming BT Sport package available".
For its part, BT stresses that it's open to doing a deal with Virgin Media, but that no wholesale agreement has been finalised so far.
All of which means that while BT TV and Sky Sports households are tuning in for the first time this evening, Virgin subscribers will be left wondering what they're missing out on.
To make matters even more frustrating for the cable company's customers, even Freeview homes will be able to watch BT Sport tonight - the launch is being broadcast at channel 57 on the free-to-air platform.
Virgin customers are understandably pretty peeved about the situation. Not only are they unable to access BT Sport, but they've also recently had to put up with the loss of ESPN, which was previously available free of charge to Virgin Media XL TV subscribers.
Of course, all of this will be forgotten about and forgiven if the two parties are able to get their heads together and iron out a deal before BT Sport really kicks into gear later this month, with the start of the new Barclays Premier League season. But if they can't manage this, the Virgin Media customer base could be hit by an exodus of unhappy sports fans.
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